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Entrepreneur Recognised in Grampian Awards

15 June 2011

UK - A young entrepreneur who developed a cooking oil at the family farm and put it on the shelves of leading supermarkets is in the running for a coveted business award.

Gregor Mackintosh has been recognised with a nomination in the Grampian Awards for Business Enterprise 2011 in the category for emerging entrepreneurs.

This award, which is sponsored by Optima Solutions UK, recognises individuals under the age of 35 who have taken the risks necessary to undertake a business venture that stands out from the crowd.

Mr Mackintosh's dissertation on the demand for cold pressed rapeseed oil in Scotland provided the inspiration for a business idea that is helping to improve the health of the nation. The 23-year-old was studying at the Scottish Agricultural College when he realised there was a market to develop the product on his family's farm near Peterhead in Aberdeenshire.

"Cold pressed rapeseed oil is generally unknown within Scottish markets and the UK as a whole, although the response from my dissertation indicated that a healthier oil of this kind had the potential to become a major contender to olive oil with its healthier nutritional values," said Mr Mackintosh.

The product took off in a major way and very soon after launching Mackintosh of Glendaveny the oil was appearing on the shelves of delicatessens and supermarkets across the UK, and sales were also picked up from hotel chains and food processors. Major contract wins have resulted in a recent £50,000 investment in upgrading production equipment.

This means that the facility can now produce up to 2,500 bottles a day. Since starting out in 2009, Gregor has expanded the product range for one to six following the introduction of flavour infusions, and his oils are ingredients in five different lines by a fish processor producing goods for Sainsburys, Asda, Tesco and M&S. His oil was also the oil of choice for Jimmy Buchan, star of the television show Trawlerman, when he performed a cooking demonstration in London for the launch of his own Amity brand of prawns.

Mr Mackintosh had grown up on the family farm and it was expected that he would work there full-time after completing his college studies.

He said: "From a young age I have always had visions of starting my own business although I had not decided what. I did not really want to come home and basically blend into the farm business and spend all of my spare time working there.

"When coming across the idea of producing oil in the farm I was instantly hooked on the idea and based my honours dissertation on this with great enthusiasm. The study gave me the chance to speak to people from across the industry, giving me a far better outlook on current markets and the oil's potential."

The other two finalists in the emerging entrepreneurs category are Andy Porter of pharmacy operator, A & L Porter Limited, Aberdeen, and Rae Younger of engineering consultancy, Cognity from Aberdeen.

The awards ceremony will take place on 30 June at Mercure Ardoe House Hotel.

TheCropSite News Desk

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